Riot-induced IT Failure
Businesses urged to backup data as riot-induced IT failure hinders recovery
Mark Child, partner at Kingston Smith Consulting LLP, advises business owners on how to backup IT data and minimise any future disruption
The carnage faced by a number of UK cities in the last few days has seen many large and small businesses crippled, as rioters have looted goods and trashed and torched premises. IT Systems have, in many cases, been brought to a standstill through fire and theft.
The damage caused to businesses has highlighted the need for appropriate online or off-site data backup, which can help enable businesses to get back on their feet after such disruption. Following recent events, whether the smoking wreckage is a small business in a city centre, a superstore in a retail park, or a national distribution depot for consumer goods, the case for having off-site processing and data storage has suddenly become an important consideration.
Many businesses fail to put in place a suitable backup system to protect against such circumstances. Mark Child, partner at Kingston Smith Consulting LLP, explains: “Data is the lifeblood of most businesses. Emails, files, invoices, financial data, customer records, databases, and documents all make up vital company data that most of us cannot function without. It is vital that this business critical information is backed up regularly, to allow businesses to continue trading in the event of a disaster.”
Many business owners do not have a contingency plan when disaster strikes. Below, Mark outlines some simple tips for ensuring that business owners can retrieve their business critical data, should the worst occur.
Back-up computer files
If you are not doing this already, then you should be! The best way to keep digital records safe is to store them outside your business location. There are many cost-effective ways to protect irreplaceable documents. Since online backup services store your files away from your premises, your data will remain intact and available if it is stolen, or if your premises suffer some disaster. The cost of these solutions is not prohibitive; indeed, in many cases, it can be less than £100 per annum.
Store records and physical papers off-site
Printed receipts and bills are likely to be important to you. Many banks offer safety deposit boxes, where you can store paper records securely. Alternatively, you can scan important documents and store the images with your other electronic data. This not only protects you from disasters that may happen in your business, it also ensures that your finances are protected. Even if your supplier’s office was burned to the ground, you can easily supply them with actual receipts, to prove that you have already paid for your orders.
Consider what may happen when disaster strikes. You can’t plan for every eventuality, but you should think about what your organisation can’t do without, and plan accordingly.